The developers have confirmed that they are looking into adding Anti-Radiation Missiles (ARMs) to War Thunder; but have doubts about their accuracy and whether they could target the SPAA we have in game. I’ve created this topic to collect information about the various anti-radiation missiles that could be added, and to generally discuss how ARMs could work in game.
In real life some ARMs could only lock on to a fairly narrow range of radar frequencies. Personally I expect that if Gaijin implement ARMs, they will allow them to lock onto specific radar bands, rather than specific frequency ranges. I feel this would strike a good balance between realism (you still need to use the right type of ARM for the radar you are going up against) and fun (you don’t need to remember the exact frequency of every radar in the game, just what band they are). This also gets around the problem that the exact frequencies radars transmit on, and ARMs are tuned to, is often classified or otherwise unknown (the band is usually known though).
There are two main standards for radar band designations: IEEE and NATO. Here is a good diagram showing radar the two band designation systems. War Thunder uses currently uses the NATO radar band designations for in game radars, so to avoid confusion all radar bands in this post will use the NATO names.
One of the key factors that will impact how ARMs perform in game is which SPAA they are able to lock on to. In order to visualise this I have created a spreadsheet showing every SPAA radar in the game and which Anti-radiation missiles are able to lock on to them. At the moment the list of ARMs is far from complete, as I have only found data on some western ARMs. If anyone has information about ARMs not on this spreadsheet (or detailed in the section below) please share it here and I will try to keep the spreadsheet and post up to date.
I would also like this thread to have easily readable information about all the ARMs that could be added, much like the other missile threads that exist on this forum. I have started off with the ARMs I have information for. If anyone wants to contribute missiles or information to this then post a comment in this thread and I will add your information to the post (with credit).
The AGM-45 Shrike is an American anti-radiation missile. Being the first ARM deployed by the US it had very limited performance, with early versions requiring different seekers to be fitted before launch depending on the type of radar being engaged. Later versions had more capable seekers, covering multiple radar bands. There were two main versions of the Shrike, the AGM-45A and AGM-45B which featured a better rocket motor which significantly increased it’s maximum range. Each of these missiles had many sub versions which had different seekers for targeting different radars.
Tech specs (AGM-45A)
- Length: 3.05 m (10 ft)
- Finspan: 91.4 cm (36 in)
- Diameter: 20.3 cm (8 in)
- Weight: 177 kg (390 lb)
- Speed (AGM-45A): Mach 1.75 above launch speed
- Speed (AGM-45B): Mach 0.9 above launch speed
- Propulsion (AGM-45A): Mk 39 or Mk 53 Solid rocket motor
- 2.8 second burn time
- Propulsion (AGM-45B): Mk 78 boost-sustain rocket motor
- 7,200 lb thrust for 1 second
- 550 lb thrust for 20 seconds
- Warhead: Blast fragmentation
- AGM-45A/B-1: E, F Band
- AGM-45A/B-2: G Band
- AGM-45A/B-3: E, F Band
- AGM-45A/B-4:G Band
- AGM-45A/B-6: I Band (7.9 - 9.6 GHz)
- AGM-45A/B-7: E, F Band
- AGM-45A/B-9: I Band
- AGM-45A/B-10: E, F, G, H, I
- Maximum launch range (AGM-45A): 12-16 km
- Maximum launch range (AGM-45B): 45 km
Click meAGM-45 missile diagram:
An AGM-45 shrike mounted on a Harrier GR.3:
A Vulcan B.2 carrying AGM-45 missiles:
The AGM-78 Standard ARM is an American anti-radiation missile, which utilised the airframe of the RIM-66 Standard Surface to Air Missile. The initial version, the AGM-78A, utilised the seeker from the AGM-45A-3 while later versions (AGM-78B, C, and D) utilised a purpose built broadband seeker. As well as having much better range than the Shrike the AGM-78 featured a memory chip which stored the target’s location and allowed it to guide to that location should the enemy radar be shut down.
- Length: 4.57 m (15 ft)
- Finspan: 108.0 cm (42.5 in)
- Diameter: 34.3 cm (13.5 in)
- Weight: 620 kg (1,370 lb)
- Speed: Mach 2.5
- Propulsion (AGM-78A / B / C): Aerojet MK 27 MOD 4 boost-sustain solid rocket motor
- Propulsion (AGM-78D): Aerojet MK 69 MOD 0 boost-sustain solid rocket motor
- Warhead: 223 lb Blast fragmentation
- AGM-78A: E, F Band
- AGM-78B / C / D: Unknown broadband seeker
- Maximum launch range: 90 km
Click meAn AGM-78 next to an F-105:
The ALARM (Air Launched Anti-Radiation Missile) is a British anti-radiation missile. The most unique feature of the ALARM is the two stage parachute integrated into the tail of the missile. If the target radar shuts down then the ALARM could deploy it’s parachute and “loiter” in the air for up to two minutes. Once the target began emitting again the ALARM could jettison it’s parachute, and strike the target, even if the target had moved from it’s original location. This made the ALARM very effective at striking mobile anti-aircraft systems.
What happens after ALARM is launched depends on what mode the missile is in. The first three modes require the target location to be known before launch, while the last two do not. However even in first three modes the target’s only needs to be known within 1 nautical mile radius (meaning in War Thunder you would just need to know which side of the map the enemy SPAA is located in).
- Dual mode: The missile enters a steep climb after launch and attempts to acquire the target. If the target is found it attacks immediately otherwise it will loiter.
- Loiter mode: The missile enters a steep climb after launch and loiters above the target location, only once loitering does it begin it’s search for the target.
- Direct Mode: The missile flies a path optimised for maximum ground speed. It will look for a target near the specified location and if one is not found strike the specified location.
- Corridor Suppression Mode: The missile climbs to altitude and follows a pre-determined flight path scanning for any radars which match it’s list of targets. If such a radar is found it attacks the target.
- Universal Mode: Same as Corridor Suppression Mode, but optimised for high altitude launch, giving greater range.
The Corridor Suppression and universal modes can attack targets within a 20 nautical mile by 46 nautical mile area in front of the aircraft.
- Length: 4.3 m
- Finspan: 72 cm
- Diameter: 22.4 cm
- Weight: 260 kg
- Speed: Supersonic
- Propulsion: Boost-sustain rocket motor
- Boost motor burns for 0.7 seconds
- Sustain motor burns for 52 seconds
- Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead producing 3,000 6mm tungsten fragments
- AR Seeker: Covers 2.0 - 18.0 GHz (NATO Bands E, F, G, H , I, J)
- Maximum launch range: 50 nautical miles (93 km)
- Tornado GR.1 / 4
- Tornado F.3 (A small number modified to do so, nicknamed “EF.3”)
- Harrier GR.7 (trials only)
- Jaguar (trials only)
- Eurofighter Development Aircraft (trials only)
- Nimrod MRA.4 (planned)
Click meALARM missile diagram:
An ALARM missile being carried by a Tornado GR.4:
A Harrier GR.7 carrying two ALARM missiles:
A Eurofighter Development Aircraft carrying two ALARM missiles (among other weapons):
- AWC Tornado GR.1 Tactics Manual
- RAF Museum visit
- MBDA ALARM testing video
The Martel (Missile, Anti-Radar and Television) was an Anglo-French air-to-ground missile, which as the name suggests came in both Anti-Radiation (AR) and Television (TV) guided versions. The AR missile was designated AS.37, and the TV missile AJ 168.
The AR missile was locked onto an enemy radar before launch (the seeker could detect targets up to 200 nautical miles away at altitude, or 30 nautical miles at see level). The missile was typically fired from an altitude of 200 ft at a range of 17 nautical miles (although could be fired at altitudes up to 36,000 ft). If fired under these conditions the missile would climb to about 15,500 ft then entered a steep dive as it approached the target. The warhead would be detonated either on impact or by a proximity fuse.
Tech specs (AR Version)
- Length: 4.14 m
- Finspan: 120 cm
- Diameter: 40 cm
- Weight: 535 kg
- Speed: High subsonic (TV version apparently cruised somewhere around 480 kts)
- Propulsion: Separate boost and sustain rocket motors
- Boost motors burns for 2.5 seconds
- Sustain motor burns for 92 seconds
- Warhead: High explosive blast warhead containing 119 kg (262 lb) of RDX/TNT (55/45)
* Impact and proximity fuse
- Maximum range: 200 nm at altitude / 30 nm at sea level
- Coverage (different seeker heads):
- Band 1: E, F Band (2.7 - 3.7 GHz)
- Band 2: C, D Band (0.8 - 1.3 GHz)
- Band 3: I Band (8.4 - 10.0 GHz)
- Maximum launch range: 17 nautical miles (31.5 km) at sea level. Some reports indicate up to 32 nautical miles (60 km) when fired from altitude (AR version only).
- Buccaneer S.2B / S.2D (AR & TV)
- Nimrod MR.1 / MR.2 (AR & TV)
- Vulcan B.2 (AR)
- Sea Vixen FAW.1 XJ476 (AR & TV - trials only)
- Victor B.2 (AR - trials only)
- Harrier GR.1 (AR - trials only)
- TSR.2 (AR & TV - planned)
- Tornado GR.1 (AR & TV - listed in flight manual, unclear if it ever actually used them though)
Click meMartel AR missile:
Martel TV missile:
A Buccaneer S.2B with one Martel AR missile, two Martel TV missiles, and a datalink pod.
- Tactical Employment of the Martel Missile - CTTO Report
- AP101B-1202-15C Buccaneer S.2B Aircrew Manual - Weapon System (Avionic Update)
- AP3456H Royal Air Force Manual of Flying - Volume H: Aircraft Weapons Employment
- Buccaneer Boys by Graham Pitchfork
- Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator: The Buccaneer Years by David Herriot
- The World’s Missile Systems - 7th edition by Pomona Division of General Dynamics Corporation
- V1 (19/08/2023): Initial version